Category - Thunder News

Nick Collison shows why you always have to be ready

It was only a couple of buckets and a free throw but that seven minutes we saw Nick Collison spit fire up and down the court on Saturday night gave Thunder fans that resurgence feeling that had been missing for a couple of seasons.

Sure, Russell Westbrook went bananas and won an MVP last season but there’s not a lot that rivals that of a Nick Collison, perfect hair and all, setting a fundamentally sound screen while curling to the basket. It’s like Steven Adams did it but without all the hair and accent.

“A total pro. He comes ready to play every day,” Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said. “Nick keeping himself prepared and going in there he did a great job.”

You wouldn’t believe it but the Thunder were two points worse with Collison on the floor last night. His energy and his attitude made it feel like the Thunder were on the verge of pounding the Spurs out of the playoffs in an elimination game.

“I’m really happy for Nick Collison because he’s a total pro,” Donovan said. “He comes ready to play every day. Not knowing Steven’s situation, Nick keeping himself prepared and going in there he did a great job.”

Seven points in six minutes on 3-of-4 shooting, two rebounds and all of our hearts.

While Collison isn’t a player who can play formidable minutes against an Anthony Davis or even some of the lesser players like a Jonas Valanciunas, his ability to relieve the injury of Adams in key moments on the floor were huge. When Collison checked in, the Thunder led by 10 but the lead ballooned to over 20 with Collison on the floor.

“He [Collison] got his number called,” Westbrook said. “He answered like he do every time.”

At the end of it, MVP chants flowed down from Loud City like an Oklahoma summer rainstorm. The fans chants “MVP! MVP!” as Collison split the two free throws, making the one on the chants.

“Sometimes, I feel like the walk-on in college games where everybody’s yelling at him to shoot the ball, one of the kids that gets in at the end of the game in blowouts,” Collison joked.

As the bench played with a renewed vigor of seasons past, Collison led the fourth quarter charge. Other players scored and had their own impact, i.e. Jerami Grant’s 15 points and eight rebounds and Patrick Patteron’s 10 points were their own influence, it’s just seeing a fan favorite who’s old and not able to jump as high to come in and make such an impact.

“Pat and Nick, those guys did a great job of forcing to our help,” Westbrook said. “We did a good job of having their backs and making it tough for them.”

Collison may not play the rest of the season. He may get into a blowout game and just play a couple of minutes but we know the former Kansas Jayhawk will be ready.

“I’m always trying to stay ready,” Collison said. “I can tell when there might be an opportunity.”


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Thunder sign Corey Brewer

The Oklahoma City Thunder finally made their move.

On Saturday morning, the Thunder signed veteran swingman Corey Brewer for the remainder of the season in hopes of fixing some defensive woes that’ve come since the loss of Andre Roberson to injury.

He cut it close being bought out by the Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 28. Players must be bought out by March 1 to be eligible for playoffs.

Brewer is entering his 11th season and has played for five other teams in the Association, Minnesota, Dallas, Denver, Houston and the Lakers. In his 765 games, he’s averaged 8.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. He’s a career 28 percent shooter from 3-point range.


Brewer, drafted seventh in the 2007 NBA Draft, played for Billy Donovan at Florida. In three years at Florida, Brewer helped guide the Gators to two National Championships (2006 and 2007), appearing in 108 games (106 starts) and averaging 11.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.63 steals in 27.2 minutes. The Tennessee native was also named NCAA Most Outstanding Player in 2007 and was selected to the NCAA All-Tournament Team in 2006 and 2007.

Other teams that were interested in Brewer: Cleveland, Portland, Washington and Milwaukee.

Brewer, 31, has averaged 3.7 points and 1.7 rebounds in 12.9 minutes per game in 54 contests this season. He had fallen out of the Lakers’ rotation recently and pursued a buyout to join a postseason contender.

While he’s not a super offensive player, Brewer is a perimeter defender who can defend multiple positions and helps secure the defensive issues a bit. While he’s nowhere near the level of Andre Roberson, he’ll be an okay decent replacement.


Brewer will earn $526,249 for the remainder of the season on a minimum contract and due to his year’s served. However, the Thunder will have invested a large portion just into Brewer’s addition. With the Thunder being a non-repeater luxury tax team, the Thunder will end up paying $1,315,622.60 just to add Brewer for the final 18 games, plus playoffs.

While Brewer isn’t Andre Roberson, he’s a formidable player and will provide some level of security on defense. He’s not going to wow you offensively and will play limited minutes.

Oklahoma City talked to Tony Allen and Derrick Rose but ultimately settled on Brewer.

Brewer’s highlight is when he scored 51 points in 2014 against Houston, but don’t expect him to give you anything like that this season.

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Thunder raise season ticket prices

Sure, the Thunder added a couple of “super stars.” This also brought high luxury taxes and expectations. With all of that, the Oklahoma City sent out the 2018-19 season ticket prices and every seat rose in price.

From the Loud City to the super expensive seats, the Thunder made the decision to raise prices based on House Bill 2361. It passed through the State Legislature this summer.

House Bill 2361 states that all tickets under $50 will have a $1 service fee attached. Those above $50 will see a $2 fee attached.

It’s expected to generate at least $2 billion in revenue for the state, which saw a revenue shortfall of $878 million.

Loud City saw prices range. The lowest increase is in the loft. It raises from $15 to $16. That’s a modest $44 addition per ticket. The highest upper level seats saw an increase from $70 to $78. Those mazinee season ticket holders will see an extra $308 on their bill.

In the club seating, those saw modest increases. Such as Terraces both were increased by $3 per seat. That is $132 addition to the season ticket fees. The modest priced club baseline seating, which valued at $90/ticket last season, jumped considerably. It says “call for details.” This usually indicates a drastic price increase.

In the good, lower level seats, the prices all saw an $8-13 increase, depending on the section. The Champion’s Club seating, which are those four sections about mid-court, saw a $23 increase from $275/ticket to $298/ticket.


Many expected ticket prices to go up, so this isn’t a surprise. The fans would have to fit some of the bill and they’re aware of that.

Here’s the email the Thunder sent out this morning: 

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Adams is a rebounding monster

I’ll admit it. I didn’t think Steven Adams was going to be the immediate impact on the organization that he was. I said:

We wouldn’t see him for maybe two years in Oklahoma City. Well, not in any real minutes.

Adams started day one and has not relinquished that, sans injury, since. HIs rebounding rate has improved every season and this season has started to reach historic rates.

Not only is he shattering SuperSonic records. He’s rising in the NBA’s rebounding records, too.

When you include the SuperSonic records, Marvin Webster is the single-season leader with 361 offensive rebounds. Webster grabbed 361 in the 1977-78 season. Through the All-Star Break, Adams has 283 offensive boards.

“There’s not many guys that physically can match him in strength as well as athletically jump with him,” teammate Paul George said. “He’s in a category of his own, obviously.”

At this current rebounding pace of 5.3 per game, Adams should shatter Webster’s record and be near 400 offensive rebounds. Adams would be only the ninth player in NBA history to pull down at least 400 offensive rebounds.

“I don’t think one man can stop [Adams] in the paint,” Carmelo Anthony said.

The OKC Kiwi rebounding has been huge. His 9.1 rebounds per game would be the second most in a single-season, only behind Russell Westbrook’s single-season record of 10.7 rebounds per game last season.

“It feels like we can take any shot we want,” George said. “Steve’s going to go get it. We feel that. I feel that, Russ feels that, Melo feels that. It puts us in a better rhythm knowing that there’s a guy that’s going to, whether it’s a good or a bad shot we take, it’ll possibly end up as a basket anyway with Steve down there. It allows us to be more aggressive.”

Because of Adams, the Thunder are No. 1 in the NBA in offensive rebounding percentage at 28.3 percent. They’re also No. 1 with 12.6 offensive boards per game.

It’s not a coincidence Adams is averaging 5.6 offensive rebounds in wins and 4.8 in losses. Oklahoma City since Dec. 1 is averaging 13.2 offensive boards. The Thunder averaged 11.1 offensive boards the previous two months.

Adams, is a large part in that, not just on the offensive glass.

Oklahoma City grabs 78.7 percent of rebounds (7th in the NBA) when Adams in on the floor, compared to 76.1% when he’s off (27th in the NBA).

“My whole thing is we need to get onto the next possession,” Adams said. “Because I don’t want to play defense. It’s so f—ing difficult, mate. So, as long as we get the ball and we can stop playing defense, that’s great.”

The Thunder ride and die with Russell Westbrook. It may be more time to realize the Thunder ride or die with the New Zealand boy wonder, too.

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Thunder franchise valued over $1.25 Billion

Basketball is now king in the prairie. Sure, football has its moments but nothing brings the two rivaling alumni together like a classic Russell Westbrook slam dunk. Because of that blending of two schools, not to mention the many, many unaffiliated fans, the Thunder value rose 22 percent over last season.

Last season, Forbes dubbed Oklahoma City the 17th most valuable franchise, but they were only worth $1.05 million at the time. This season, in their 20th annual NBA Valuations, Forbes said the Thunder organization is worth $1.25 billion. That’s a nice 22 percent increase over last season. Five seasons ago, the Thunder were worth approximately $590 million and that still was considered a lot of money. A new TV revenue deal, a paid off arena and the Thunder’s ability to turn a profit is a big reason why the drastic increase.

While the 22 percent increase is nice. It’s also worth pointing out that’s only 21st biggest increase in the NBA. The Philadelphia 76ers saw a 48 percent increase. While on the other end of it all, the Chicago Bulls only saw a four percent increase.

Every team in the NBA is worth over a billion dollars. In comparison to last season, 18 teams were worth a billion. New Orleans rounds up the bottom with a value of $1 Billion.

One major change for the Thunder is the drop in ranking. They’ve been ranked the 17th most valued franchise according to Forbes for the last two seasons and this season, Oklahoma City dropped to 18th. The Washington Wizards leaped the Thunder, and a handful of other franchises. Washington went from 18th to 14th, a massive jump in comparative years.

Another change from last season is the Thunder’s ability to turn a profit. Last year the Thunder with an $8.4 million deficit. This season, that’s skyrocketed to $64 million. That’s seventh highest in the NBA. Cleveland is the only franchise to lose money this season in operating income.

The New York Knicks ($3.6b), Los Angeles Lakers ($3.3b) and the Golden State Warriors ($3.1b) are all teams worth over $3 billion. Chicago ($2.6b) and Boston ($2.5b) round out the top five.

Brooklyn ($2.3b), Houston ($2.2b), L.A. Clippers ($2.15b), Dallas ($1.9b) and the Miami Heat ($1.7b) complete the top 10 of most valuable franchises according to Forbes.

The Thunder were never expected to be a team that was going to rake in the money. They’re a small market with only so many TV sets and one of the smaller arenas in the NBA. If they can stay around the 17th range, it’s a success for the team. Those slim margins are why the Thunder probably cannot afford a rebuilding session all over again and why they’ll have to pay the tax on occasion.

Oklahoma City’s rank on Forbes list of Most valuable:

  • 2018: 18 ($1.25 billion)
  • 2017: 17 ($1.0025 billion)
  • 2016: 17 ($950 million)
  • 2015: 13 ($930 million)
  • 2014: 11 ($590 million)
  • 2013: 12 ($475 million)
  • 2012: 15 ($348 million)
  • 2011: 18 ($329 million)
  • 2010: 18 ($329 million)
  • 2009: 20 ($310 million)
  • 2008: 24 ($324 million)

The value is nice but we know majority owner Clay Bennett is looking at that salary cap mark, $134 million. That’s approximately $15 million over the luxury tax line and boy are the Thunder going to pay. Right now their salary cap and luxury tax is approximate $149 million. This is a small market team with their largest sponsor laying people off and selling off assets. Oklahoma City has a thin margin for error.

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Nuggets fan approaches Westbrook in postgame

Paul George and Russell were doing their comeback thing but it was Gary Harris who had the last laugh but that’s not really where it all ended.

As Russell Westbrook tried to exit the court a fan stepped towards Westbrook, yelling in his face. Westbrook gave the man a nice shove. An obviously intoxicated fan was finally escorted out of the area by security. NBA officials ran over after the fact.

First off, this fan better be lucky Westbrook didn’t body slam him through a couple of tables, Dudley Bros. style.

Secondly, why is this fan on the court? That’s blatantly unacceptable and needs to be addressed by the Nuggets and the NBA. Apparently, this isn’t the first time this happened in Denver this season.

But the action didn’t end there. With the Nuggets and their fans celebrating, one of those fans made his way a few steps out onto the court. A few steps away from Russell Westbrook. A few steps too far.

“They can’t come on the floor,” Westbrook said. “It’s totally unacceptable.”

There are some people out there saying Westbrook will be criticized but that hasn’t been the case so far. While some may think a fine or a potential suspension is upcoming for Westbrook’s touching of the fan, Westbrook had to defend himself in a situation like that. The fan has no right, despite how much he paid for his ticket, to yell in Westbrook’s face without consequences. This fan should be banned from any NBA games going forward.

It’s reported the Denver Police Department hauled the guy away to spend a few hours in jail, most likely for public intoxication and disturbing the peace.

If the NBA suspends Westbrook from such an asinine fan, Adam Silver may have a very upset Brodie, Clay Bennet and the NBPA to deal with.

Another controversial Thunder loss here in Denver and now we await the NBA’s ruling on the L2M report.

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Thunder darkhorse to nab Greg Monroe

In a surprising turn of events, the Phoenix Suns agreed to a buyout with center Greg Monroe on Wednesday evening. With that, Yahoo’s Chris Mannix reported the buy out and said there is a legitimate darkhorse to land Monroe: The Oklahoma City Thunder.

Mannix is a really reliable NBA reporter. His work with Adrian Wojnarowski during Woj’s time at Yahoo is second to none. That said, a bit surprising as the Thunder have also been linked to Tyreke Evans. It’s unclear which direction the Thunder will go before the trade deadline. It’s pretty understood the Thunder’s will be one of the buyer’s as the deadline approaches.

Monroe, 27, has played for three NBA teams, with much of his career in Detroit. He was traded to the Suns on Nov. 7 in exchange for Eric Bledsoe. In 20 games with the Suns, Monroe is averaging 11.3 points and 8.0 rebounds per game in 23.3 minutes.

It appears Oklahoma City is without any exceptions and they could only offer Monroe the pro-rated league minimum (approx. $884,369 as of Jan. 31). For Boston, the favorite, they can offer $8.5 million, which came from the Gordon Hayward injury. Before the buyout, Monroe was making a hefty $17.8 million this season. So, taking a short pay cut on the back of that buyout is easy street for Monroe if he feels Oklahoma City is the best for his team. Most of the time, money talks.

If the Thunder were to reach out and grab the former Georgetown Hoya, he would be an instant relief for Steven Adams. As I said on the Peake & Roll podcast, the Thunder should look to go big and help Adams. When the Kiwi gets into foul trouble, the Thunder are almost left out to dry and forced to go small. This way, they could retain some normalcy within their line up.

Sure, Boston is the favorite but Monroe would be a great fit in Oklahoma City.

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Report: Clippers offered Blake Griffin for Paul George

We were all shocked by the wild trade on Monday afternoon, sending Oklahoma Christian School’s Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons for a handful of players. What we learned on Wednesday morning is the Clippers originally tried to trade Griffin to Oklahoma City.

It makes sense in the surface. Griffin played high school basketball for OCS in Edmond, winning a couple of state championships. Then, he went south on I-35 to Norman, where he led the Sooners to the Elite 8.

Royce Young of ESPN said on a podcast with Brian Windhorst of ESPN, they essentially reached out to numerous teams. Here’s the transcribed portion of the pod (by RealGM):

“They offered him around to everybody,” said  Young on The Hoop Collective podcast.

“I don’t know if that’s true,” replied Windhorst.

“I mean I know they made calls to Oklahoma City for Paul George,” Young said. “I’m pretty sure they made calls to Minnesota for players, so I mean, like, they tried to get some bigger name players. It just wasn’t happening.”

So essentially, the Clippers approaches teams to see what could stick. It’s apparent the were dead set on getting rid of Griffin, but for the right cost.

Why it made sense

On the surface, this is a win-win. Griffin gets to come come and so does George. Everyone is happy. Plus, Griffin is locked in for the next four seasons. It provides stability to the organization. Especially with how he Thunder are letting it ride with George becoming a free agent this Summer. Not to mention, George’s mentions on how he was a Clipper fan as a kid.

While it’s tough to compare players who play drastically different positions, Griffin provides a post presence the Thunder lack at times. It would also would’ve moved Carmelo Anthony back to his natural three position. While Griffin’s ability archaic in today’s NBA, by no fault of his own can still hit the mid range and has learned how to step out and hit the three.

Why it would’ve been a bad deal

Oklahoma City essentially took two months figuring out how to play together. Now, you’re taking out a key piece and throwing it another. The chemistry issues could’ve been far and wide. The Thunder are like standing on ice right now with the personalities. They’re found out what’s worked and if you even mess with it a bit, the cracks could cause the whole thing to fall through.

It’s easy to forget but Anthony came here, not for only Russell Westbrook, but George, too. Trading a key piece on why Anthony agreed to the trade could’ve forced Anthony into opting out of his deal and the Thunder could be almost back to square one.

Griffin’s injury history is scary. It started by his meniscus injury at Oklahoma and he’s had a bunch of random ones, including punching a team personnel member at a bar in Toronto. So, you’re giving this talented player over $100 million and hoping he’ll remain healthy.

All-in-all, San Presti probably made the right move. George, in my mind, is the right fit for the Thunder, personality wise and system wise.

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Paul George selected as All-Star replacement

With DeMarcus Cousins hurting his Achille’s in New Orleans’ win over Houston on Friday, Jan. 26., the NBA had to find a replacement for the 2018 NBA All-Star game in February.

George is slated to make his fifth All-Star appearance, joining teammate Russell Westbrook on Team LeBron, replacing New Orleans’ DeMarcus Cousins.

George was considered the biggest snub in the Western Conference. One of the best defenders in the league, George had started to find his groove, averaging almost 22 points per game since Dec. 1. His defensive stats are second to none this season.

Cousins sustained a season-ending ruptured left Achilles tendon against the Houston Rockets on Jan. 26.  An All-Star selection for the fourth consecutive season, Cousins was voted to start and drafted to Team LeBron by captain LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

When an All-Star is unable to participate, Silver will choose a replacement from the same conference as the player who is being replaced.  Cousins and George both represent the Western Conference. George received the most voting points from NBA head coaches among Western Conference players who were not selected as reserves.

George is currently averaging 21.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.17 steals (ranks 2nd). In 46 games this season, he is averaging a career-best 42.0 percent from 3-point range on a career-high 7.3 3-point attempts per game. He ranks first in deflections (4.4) and third in loose balls recovered (1.7).

George is currently on pace to become the fifth player in NBA history to average 20.0 or more points on .420 percent 3-point shooting to go along with 2.00 or more steals per game (Stephen Curry, Michael Jordan, Hersey Hawkins and Larry Bird).

This season, George has helped Oklahoma City to a 29-20 record and the league’s longest active win streak at seven games.

The 67th NBA All-Star Game will air on TNT and ESPN Radio. Featuring a new format in which team rosters were drafted by James and the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry, the All-Star Game will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages.

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Andre Roberson ruptures patellar tendon

Andre Roberson took a serious fall in the third quarter and ended up leaving on a stretcher and for the Oklahoma City Thunder they wait for the official word of what is the diagnosis.

With 4:33 left in the third quarter, Roberson found a wide open back door cut but as he went into the air, it looks as if his leg gives out and he takes a nasty spill to the floor. Roberson was able to pull his self off the court and it was obvious something serious just happened.

As teammates came over to console him, Roberson left on a stretcher, biting a towel, holding back tears.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported a source saying Roberson has a ruptured patellar tendon.

Thunder head coach Billy Donovan confirmed in post-game Roberson has a patellar tendon injury but did not specify on the severity.

According to the Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute, a person cannot resume sports activities for up to six months. He might not even be able to walk for 3-3½ months.

the Patellar tendon i a tendon that extends down the high muscle, or quadricep, and attaches to the knee cap to the shin bone. It helps keep the knee straight. Forceful movement by the quad or falling directing on the knee can cause the tear.

Kathryn Trumble, the Physical Therapist who wrote the article, says surgery is often required to repair the injury.

While it’s not 100 percent sure the severity of the injury, The Thunder said they want to wait until they land back in Oklahoma City to get the severity.

The severity of the injury can determine for sure if surgery (full tear) or just physical therapy is needed (partial tear).

According to Wojnarowski, Roberson is expected to need season ending surgery to repair his injury.

Roberson came into the game averaging 5.0 points and 4.7 rebounds for a Thunder team that has now won seven consecutive games.

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